Friday, December 4, 2009

Five!! One Trick Ponies, Part 1
I hereby dub thee: Sir Spoils-Alot

Watching Fantastic Mr. Fox I came to the realisation that this was the perfect time to post a Five!! I've been brewing for sometime now. But with all that thought came I've come to the conclusion that it simply can't be contained in a standard post.
You see, I think there are two sides to a concept like the "One Trick Pony". There are the actors and actresses who always seem to play the same character, and then there are the actors and actresses who always seem to play themselves. Some might say that they're the same thing, but I believe they deserve a distinction, even if they don't warrant a complete separation. However with that said, I think a case could be made to put some of these names on either list- so I just went with my gut.
And remember, this doesn't necessarily mean I hate these performers- sometimes the character they play is not only spot on, but necessary. And of course, these are generalizations.
We'll start with the category that contains the man who inspired it all: Actors/Actresses who play the same character.

Actor: George Clooney
Character: Danny Ocean
Exceptions: None
George Clooney has been doing the same shtick since The Facts of Life (and don't forget "Booker" from Roseanne!), the only difference from role to role is how much the character talks.

Actor: Topher Grace
Character: Eric Forman
Exceptions: None
The first place I ever saw Topher Grace (I think the first place anyone saw Topher Grace) was in the movie Traffic. He played a skinny, drug smoking high schooler getting himself into trouble... Sound familiar?

Actress: Angelina Jolie
Character: "The Sultry Mystery"
Exceptions: Changeling
I'd say with Angelina it's more a kind of character than one particular role, but the theory still holds. Jolie doesn't seem to have a range so much as two sliders that read "Sexpot" and "Hard ass"; for each roll they raise or lower them accordingly.

Actor: John C. McGinley
Character: Dr. Cox
Exception: Identity
McGinley has made a living as the ego-centric, fast talking jerk who (sometimes) eventually reveals a heart of gold... like I said, Docter Perry Cox. In Identity he plays the fast talking introverted, yes man. Kind of the mirror image of Dr. Cox, so I'll give it to him.

Actor: Ving Rhames
Character: "The big, intimidating black guy."
Exceptions:Mission Impossible: III
Just like with Angelina, it's not a character so much as a caricature. From Striptease to I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, it's usually the same drill: scowl, cross arms, repeat. I'm not positive that MI:III should really count as an exception- but as that his size and ability to come across tough as nails never really plays into the story, I felt it deserved a notation.

To Be Concluded... with Five!! One Trick Ponies Part 2: Performers Who Play Themselves.

Special Thanks to Kello who produced this Reel Deal picture.

1 comment:

Kello said...

performers who play themselves? Adam Sandler has got to be on there.

George Clooney really has traded on his good looks for far too long. When Your "Booker" is essentially the same as your "Bruce Wayne", there's something off. But what about The Perfect Storm as an exception?